Public records policy tops council’s agenda

A proposed public records policy is on a crowded Lebanon City Council agenda for its Tuesday meeting.
Aug 5, 2014

A proposed public records policy is on a crowded Lebanon City Council agenda for its Tuesday meeting. 

City Finance Director Robert Springer leads the push for a new policy, which would establish a written policy for open records requests.

“The state recommends a written policy, and I searched and was unable to find one,” Springer said. “The policy would only put into writing a policy recommended by the state. You’ll see the wording comes directly from the state.”

Springer said instead of requesting open records requests from the police, personnel or finance department, each person designated would be responsible for receipt and forward of requests to the finance department in order to track requests and response times.

Also on the agenda is a budget amendment to set up expense account payments to the Wilson County Board of Education for back liquor tax payments the city owes. The amendment would work the annual payments owed to the schools into the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

According to Springer, the city owes more than $800,000 from taxes collected between July 1, 1999 and September 2013. The city expects to make payments each July for $81,121.52 until the full amount is paid. 

The council is also expected to set the dates for a special called referendum for a city sales tax increase, which will allow Lebanon voters to decide on an increase to 2.75 percent from the current 2.25 percent. The 2.75 percent is the maximum allowed by the state.

“The main idea of this is if we increase the half-cent sales tax, then we’re looking at probably about a 30-percent reduction in our city of Lebanon property tax, which should equal around 18 cents,” said Mayor Philip Craighead.

The council will also look to approve ton agreements with MorphoTrust USA, LLC to offer fingerprinting services at the Jimmy Floyd Family Center. The city will receive $3 per each transaction successfully submitted through the equipment. 

There would be no charge to the city in setup or implementation of the services.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall. A public hearing is set for 5:55 p.m.

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